An Exploration of the Perception of Minerality in White Wines by Projective Mapping and Descriptive Analysis



Minerality is a way for wine writers to associate wines with their terroir. Little research has been carried out on the concept of minerality. In this study white wines were compared by projective mapping (PM) performed by wine industry professionals to a standard sensory descriptive analysis (DA) by trained judges. The PM found minerality to be positively correlated with acid taste and citrus, fresh, wet stone, and chemical aromas, and negatively correlated to butter, butterscotch, vanilla, and oak aromas. The PM panel minerality was associated with both aroma and taste perception. The DA found minerality to be positively correlated with reduced, chalky, and grassy aromas and bitter taste, and negatively correlated with barrel, caramel, honey, juicy fruit, musty, and cat pee aromas. Wine groupings were similar between the two panels. Minerality was highly associated with malic acid, tartaric acid, and titratable acidity, and moderately associated with free and total sulfur dioxide.

Practical Applications

There were similar concepts for minerality between the two types of panels, but there were also differences. This gives us the hope that teasing out the exact concept of minerality in white wines should be possible.